It must have been a couple of weeks after the death of my son Noah when I first noticed the dragonflies.  It was mid-June 2006 and I had already been off work for several weeks.  I had called my office to let them know that I wasn’t going to be in for a while.  At the time I didn’t know what “a while” meant and thankfully they didn’t ask.  I spent most of my days doing small tasks around the house, just to keep my mind occupied.  The rest of the time I hung out with my wife, worked out and made lunch on the grill every day.  I was still trying to process what had happened to us and really hadn’t started to feel the full impact of the depth of my pain from the death of my son and my daughter just 18 months prior.

This particular day I decided I was going to start staining my fence.  I wasn’t in a hurry because I knew I didn’t have anything else that had to be done anytime soon.  So I just took my time and tried to enjoy the beautiful summer day.  This was the first summer I had off from working or college since I was probably 14 years old.  I had forgotten how nice it was to be able to get up when you wanted to and spend the day doing what you wanted to do versus what you had to do.  However, I was still trying to comprehend what had happened to my wife and me.  The loss of two children over 18 months had inflicted major depression and anxiety that wouldn’t allow me to do much of anything other than small tasks.  Even the small tasks were exhausting.

While I was taking a break sitting under the shade on my patio, I noticed two dragonflies hovering around my backyard.  They were not just passing through my yard; they seemed to be hanging out for a while.  I don’t live near water and I had never noticed them before, but I enjoyed watching them that day.

The next day I got up around 9 o’clock, which was typical for that summer.  I was usually up until about midnight and obviously needed the sleep to cope with the pain I was dealing with inside.   When I went outside to start working on my fence, the dragonflies were there to greet me.  The dragonflies and I spent the rest of the summer hanging out in my backyard.

I started to have other experiences with dragonflies during this same time.  I live near a bike path that leads to a local forest preserve and would often ride the 12 mile loop as part of my daily workout.  There were times when I would be riding and thinking about my son when a dragonfly would appear out of nowhere and would fly along with me at the same speed.  He would fly about 3 or 4 feet away from me, but would stay with me for a while.  I would just smile because I thought it was Noah letting me know he was ok.

It’s been just over 5 years since the loss of Noah, but because of these experiences, I think of Noah every time I see a dragonfly and I just smile.  On a recent bike ride on that same trail I came upon a swarm of dragonflies, the big ones with the double wings.  There must have been over a hundred of them in a fifty foot radius anywhere from 4’ to 12’ off the ground.  I stopped my bike and I just stood there in the middle of this swarm.  They were beautiful.

They must of known I was there because they would stop 2-3’ in front of me and look at me.  They would fly slowly by to let me know they were aware of my presence.  This had to be one of my best experiences in a long time.  I must have stood there for about 15-20 minutes watching them.  I even called my wife to tell her about what I was experiencing.  I felt close to Noah when I was standing there with those dragonflies.  I think it was just his way of visiting his daddy and to let me know he was thinking of me.

I have met several grieving dads (and moms) over the last several years that also have similar personal stories when it comes to our children visiting us.  There have been other signs from Noah, but this particular one was spectacular.

Does your child send you signs?  If so, what are they?  If not, do you keep yourself open to seeing signs?

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User Comments ( 11 )

  • Sandra

    My experience since my son died has been with the dragonflys. The first week of my son’s death two dragonflys appeared side by side while I stood on my driveway. Both coming towards me , going back out and coming towards me once again. Another was when my grandchildren were swimming and the dragonfly stayed on a flower the entire time we were in the backyard which was over several hours. Once we went inside it left. Another was when my mother was in an ambulance and I called out to my son wishing he was with me in the car., when a dragonfly appeared on my windshield and stayed with me until I got to the hospital. I don’t know if it is an acknowlegement of my son letting me know he is with me or not, but it truly brings me comfort.

  • Amy

    I found this site by wondering if anyone else experienced Dragonfly encounters. Shortly after the birth of my grandaughter I noticed that I rarely went outside without being visited by a dragonfly. My daughter was only nineteen, unmarried, and pregnant. It shook my world. Long story short. I truely believe that the dragonfly is a symbol of maturity and growth. God new the big picture and He new that my daughter needed this sweet child in her life to keep her on the right path. What I thought was a mistake and the end of life as we new it has turned out to be one of the biggest blessings of our lives. I don’t live near water and had NEVER before seen dragonflies at our house. Now I seldom go outside without seeing several and not just at home they are everywhere I go. Most of the time they lite on me. I beleive that they are God sent. There shape is a cross and a reminder to me of God’s grace and that He continues to bless me.

  • For us it’s eagles. Every time we need are in need of an uplifting “sign” from Quinn, an eagle appears. Call it coincidence, but on several occasions, from right after Quinn died up to this past weekend, eagles make their presence known to us.

    Maybe we are more aware, maybe it’s him telling us I’m fine, the frequency and circumstance in which eagles make their appearance to us and others cannot be discounted.

    Call it fate, call it a gift, call it happenchance – it always makes my day.

    • Grieving Dads


      I believe its a sign/message from Quinn letting you and your wife know that he is ok and that he loves you. Hang on to these gifts, they give you a sense of peace even for a moment.

      Thank you for sharing on this topic. Good stuff.


  • Grieving Dads


    Thanks for the kind words, I am glad you connected with the story. It is magical when it happens isn’t it? I totally get the “yorkies who ARE my kids”. We also do not have any living kids so I have a little Shiz Szu we got about 9 months after losing Noah. We never had a dog before, but this little guy saved me. We refer to him as our third child. I recenlty wrote an article about him called “Man’s Best Counselor” that I will be sending on to grief/Dog magizines. I think a lot of people will be able to relate. I’ll let you know when its published. Peace.


  • I came upon your story by accident. I was interested in one of my followers on Twitter that said he was a ‘grieving dad’, and he mentioned this on his wall. You are an amazing man to say the least. I am not able to have children,{I had several miscarriages] but was blessed with two adorable yorkies who ARE my kids. I will be passing along your story to many. I too have been visited by my late father many times, not to mention many others I have lost..IT’S MAGICAL and i was right there with you when you were telling your story. Thanks so much! Lulu

  • I enjoyed this story. I’m a mom too. A single mom. My boyfriend has never met my daughter. It’s hard to be a “happy girlfriend”.

    Since my daughter died of alcoholism at the age of 34, my memories of her are tainted with me trying to save her from her own self. Not pleasant memories for sure. Like I read somewhere, “the mind is a cruel camera, it keeps recording images you wish you could forget…”

    My mom keeps telling me to “TALK TO HER” and I do but she hasn’t …responded. Not yet anyway.

    I am angry at her, for dying, for loving Zinfandel more than her brother and I. Which is a very illogical thought, I know.

    That’s the problem. It’s illogical, the death of a child.

  • Hi Kelly, I’ve been a reader of your blog since shortly after you started it, but have always hesitated to comment since I’m a mom, not a dad. I identify with so much of what is said and experienced by you and your readers. All of you and your words have helped me immensely. Thank you for being here and being willing to share your story. Speaking of stories, do you know the dragonfly story?
    I’d like to think that Gabriel sends me signs sometimes, like a butterfly or dragonfly or an unexpected heart ♥, but I think I do that to comfort myself. I haven’t even so much as dreamt about him since he died. I imagine it’s pretty tough for a four month old to know how to cruise the psychic highway in search of his momma and daddy.

    • Grieving Dads


      You are welcome to post here anytime, there and many grieving moms that follow us here as well. I am just ahppy that you can relate with some of the messages you hear on this blog.

      I did not know the dragonfly story, thank you for sharing this with me. If you can feel Gabriel when thses things happen, I beleive it him letting his mommy know he is ok.

      I have yet to have them visit me in my dreams, but my wife has had it happen twice. Its been 7 years since we lost our daughter Katie and she just had a dream for the firtst time last week.

      Thanks again for sharing.



  • Victor

    yes. my son justin comes in the form of a butterfly. he always visits me when i am really really sad.

    • Grieving Dads


      I hope his visit brings you some hope and peace when he visits you. Their timing is amazing. Thank you for sharing this with us.